Author Announces Start of New “Steve the Crane” Children’s Book

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Provided by ATW

Award-winning Bristow author Katherine Gotthardt, M.Ed. has announced a new project about an unusual local celebrity, a crane named “Steve.” The crane, owned by Maryland-based Digging & Rigging, Inc., made a hit because its shape resembles a robot. Members of the Facebook group Western Prince William Chatter took photos, created memes and dubbed the crane “Steve.” Digging & Rigging, Inc. subsequently put a nametag on the crane, much to the amusement of not just the community, but the local and national news. Inspired by the way the crane seemed to bring disgruntled commuters together, Gotthardt decided to write a children’s book featuring the crane. Proceeds will be donated to local charities.

“The idea of Steve doesn’t really belong to any one person. He came from the community. So I think it’s appropriate that anything we do with Steve goes back to support the community,” said Gotthardt.

Gotthardt, who also has a background in education, approached Digging & Rigging, Inc. about authoring the book. “They were extremely receptive and have been great to work with,” Gotthardt said. “They have community days where kids get to ‘touch a truck,’ so a children’s book is just perfect for their community outreach as well.”

Digging & Rigging will publish the book and make it available through Amazon sometime this fall.

Steve the Crane

“Steve has brought so many smiles to those who struggle to find happiness while sitting in traffic,” said Brett Crouse, Marketing Coordinator for Digging & Rigging, Inc. “We never imagined ‘Steve’ becoming a local celebrity. We are thankful that Katherine came to us with this opportunity and to have so much support from the community. This book will hopefully generate great interest and be a successful means to give back to the community and the local charities during the holiday season.”

Gotthardt said, “I’m also thrilled to say the book will be illustrated by one of the most talented graphic designers in the area – Patrick King of Imagine. When I approached Patrick, I couldn’t believe my good fortune when he volunteered to do the illustrations. But then, knowing his history of community service, it makes perfect sense.”

King’s award-winning website, graphic design and branding agency was most recently involved in launching the Prince William Food Rescue. The program supports non-profits like Action in the Community through Service (ACTS) that have food pantries. He is known for supporting a variety of non-profits and the arts and is a board member of several community organizations.

Helping the Community

“There are few things more important than fostering a love of reading in our children. I’m honored to be a part of this project and I hope it brings happiness to the kids that read it,” said King.

“I really can’t wait for this book to come out,” Gotthardt said. “The first draft has been completed and submitted for review. I look forward to having the book available in time for the holidays. That will be especially meaningful when it comes to supporting charities that help during what can be a particularly difficult time.”

For more information on the project, interested parties may email Gotthardt at


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